CE 503 Session: Emerging Technologies for Librarians

Instructors: Gabriel Rios, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Melissa de Santis, University of Colorado at Anschutz Campus 

Instructors Melissa and Gabe’s enlightening whirlwind tour of Emerging Technologies made the four hours of this class pass very quickly. They started out with an overview of some of the current technology trends, including curved glass for devices (which not only looks cool but is also more durable). They also noted that bendable and foldable glass devices were not that far away in the future.

There was a lot of valuable take-away information about tablet devices and apps in medical libraries. Useful links were provided to sites that have already worked out solutions to the many issues involved in lending tablet devices to patrons. In addition there were helpful suggestions for where to look for good apps. Gabe suggested holding a library app-users event (including some food, of course!) to get people together to share information about all the apps they love to use, both library and non-library related. This is an idea I plan to use at my library.

Melissa provided a lot of information on non-library related productivity apps such as Splash ID, Evernote, Dropbox and some coupon/customer loyalty points organizer apps. There was also a discussion of Twitter and Facebook and how to use them in libraries. Gabe made sure everyone knew about the hosted #medlibs Twitter chats which are held every Thursday night at 6 pm Pacific/ 9 pm Eastern.

In the final half-hour we covered a lot: “flipped classrooms,” MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), 3-D printing, makerspaces, QR codes, geolocation, augmented reality, and big data. The pros and cons of wearable “bodymedia” devices, which measure such things as weight, calorie intake, and activity and sleep levels, were covered as well.

I had been secretly hoping that either Melissa or Gabe would be sporting a pair of Google Glasses for the class to try out, but alas, that was not the case. However, we did discuss Google Glass and watched a brief video clip of what it looks like when one is wearing the device. Hoping maybe someone at the conference this year will have a pair!